College Admission Process

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Rolling Decision?

A: An admissions plan that accepts and acts upon applications throughout the year. Decisions are often made as soon as the admissions folder is complete.

Q: What is Early Decision?

A: Early decision plans are binding. You agree to attend the college if it accepts you and offers an adequate financial package. Although you can apply to only one college for early decision, you may apply to other colleges through the regular admission process. If you're accepted by your first choice college early, you must withdraw all other applications.

Q: What is Early Action?

A: Early action plans are similar to early decision plans, but are NOT binding. If you've been accepted, you can choose to commit to the college immediately, or wait until the spring. Under these plans, you may also apply early action to other colleges. Usually, you have until the late spring to let the college know your decision.

Q: Should I apply under one of these plans?

A: You should apply under an early decision or early action plan only if you are sure of the college you want to attend. Do not apply under any of these decisions if you plan to weigh offers and financial aid packages from several colleges later in the spring. Also, you shouldn't apply early if it would be beneficial to have more of your senior year work to show a college.

Q: Do I have a better chance of getting accepted to a college if I apply early?

A: Many students apply early decision because they believe that there is an advantage to applying early and that their chances of being admitted are greater. Actually, this can vary from school to school and year to year, and may depend on the applicant pool at the school where you are applying. Do your homework first and check to see what percentage of the students in the previous graduating classes at your school were admitted early decision to a specific college or university. Are you qualified to apply as early decision? If so and this is the school you really wish to attend, then apply early decision.

Q: What is the Common Application?

A: The Common Application allows you to apply to over 700 schools with one application. You can find more information at

Q: What are test optional schools?

A: Test optional schools will consider students for admission without test scores. However, test policies will vary from school to school. Some programs may require a minimum GPA or require test scores for certain majors/programs and merit scholarships.

For a list of test optional schools, click on the link below.

Fair Test

Q: How do I apply for financial aid?

A: All students should complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Some colleges may require the CSS Profile as well. More information is available under the Financial Aid link.

Q: When do I have to commit to my college?

A: The national decision deadline is May 1st of the student's senior year. By May 1st, students should deposit at one institution.

From the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)

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